I am looking for a boot CD that will boot a power PC (linux, bsd, OSX) and allow read/write access to HFS+ and NTFS partitions. What is the best option?
The following article details 6 live cds for the PowerPC: LINUX DISTRIBUTIONS
Yellow Dog Linux - combines a minimal interaction graphical installer with support for a wide range of Power architecture hardware, leading (but not bleeding) edge kernels and stable, functional compilers for code development. And of course, the foundation applications and servers expected for web, database, email, and network services. YDL is built upon the RHEL/CentOS core.
Debian for PowerPC - was first officially released with Debian GNU/Linux 2.2 ("potato"). Support for PowerPC is maintained in the release 3.1 ("sarge").
Gentoo Linux for the PowerPC - Gentoo is a versatile and fast, completely free distribution for x86, PowerPC, Sparc and Sparc64 that's geared towards Linux power users.
MkLinux - is an Open Source operating system which consists of an implementation of the Linux operating system hosted on the Mach microkernel.
ROCK Linux - is considered to be ready for production use on Apple Macintosh hardware and IBM RS/6000.
Penguinppc.org Distributions - Linux distributions known to work on PowerPC hardware of some sort.
I can't recommend any of them from my nonexistent experience.
there are debian based powerpc live cds that will probably do the ntfs without much trouble, but i'm not sure about HFS+.
finnix is the first live powerpc distro I found.
what are the particulars of the system? could you remove the disk and put it into another physical machine? that might make it easier to access the drive(s).